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This is another very entertaining gem in the Vish Puri detective series. Besides the well thought out and well-paced mystery plot (actually, plots), the book features detailed and lively descriptions of everyday life in modern India—the food, the traffic jams, the religious practices, as well as insights into social customs and family life. As in the previous Vish Puri stories, there are particular social issues about India that are featured in this story. In this case the social themes are the changing views in India toward arranged marriages and toward the social caste system. These themes are woven naturally into the broader tale and treated at times with humor as well as from their serious side.
A word about the narrator, Sam Dastor. In my opinion the narration of this story makes it twice as enjoyable as a mere visual read would be. The narrator captures Indian accents and speaking mannerisms in a way that makes the story and characters come fully alive. I highly recommend this book on its merits alone. I doubly recommend it with Sam Dastor as the narrator.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
Well, the publisher's summary points out that each of the Vish Puri novels has become more complicated and dangerous. Yes, I agree--but what it has accomplished with that end in sight, it has done by sacrificing the rather delightful combination of quirky characters that amused as much as impressed--in the service of trying to make a more serious mystery I suppose.
I am saddened that Mr. Hall has chosen to depart (to some degree) from what was originally a charming set of stories that, read by Sam Dastor, were among my all-time favorites from Audible. I have no idea why Mr. Hall decided to move from the earlier, more amusing, stories. Others may feel this was a natural progression, a good conclusion to the series, but I regret that he didn't just keep with the approach that was so much fun to read.
This is good--if you enjoy mysteries, you will enjoy it. But I really missed something of the delight that went with the first of the books. Recommend, but with that caveat.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful